Muslim peer to deliver regalia to UK’s King Charles in coronation ceremony


LONDON: Muslim, Hindu, Sikh and Jewish members of the UK’s House of Lords are set to play a crucial role in the coronation of King Charles next month, presenting him with four pieces of regalia during the ceremony, The Times reported on Saturday.

The event at Westminster Abbey in London will see the first-ever involvement in British history of non-Christian faith representatives in the crowning of a monarch.

Though the four Muslim, Hindu, Sikh and Jewish representatives will not speak during the coronation, they will form a procession to deliver key items to the king as part of a centuries-old tradition.

Lord Kamall, 56, a Conservative Party peer and practicing Muslim, will carry the armills — a set of gold ornamented bracers — to the king.

He will be followed or preceded by Baroness Merron, a Jewish peer, Lord Singh, a Sikh, and Lord Patel, a Hindu, who will deliver a robe, glove and ring respectively.

As head of the Church of England, King Charles has pledged to serve as a defender of all religions.

The ceremony will see the four peers deliver the items on a cushion to the monarch as he sits on the coronation chair.

Each item will then be touched before being transferred to the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, who will place them on the king.

Lord Singh told The Times that the plans for the ceremony are a “show of commonality between the religions,” adding: “It stresses the point that (the king) has said again and again that he is defender of the Christian faith but with total respect for all other faiths.”

The four peers held a 90-minute rehearsal of the event at the Buckingham Palace ballroom this week.

Rabbi Jonathan Romain told The Times that the coronation plan is “a very Christian reworking of the gifts of the three magi (to) Jesus in the manger.”

However, he added: “It is clearly a deliberate avoidance of any non-Anglican religious personnel being involved. The peers are representing four faiths, but they are not faith leaders.”

A Lambeth Palace spokesman did not provide details of the coronation plans, saying: “The coronation liturgy will be published in due course and we look forward to sharing more details then.”